Our best cooking tips for making dough and so much more!
When prepping grains (think quinoa, bulgur or rice), enhance their flavour with tea rather than the usual broth or water. Cook with your favourite brew: I prefer a full-bodied tea, such as smoky lapsang souchong, fragrant Earl Grey or aromatic chai, but you can also choose a milder green tea or herbal blend. Before adding the liquid to grains, steep black teas for three to five minutes, green for two to three minutes, and herbal for five to seven minutes—tisanes don't become bitter, so they can take a longer brewing time.
Here's a foolproof way to remove a lingering garlic scent from your hands: Rub your fingers against a stainless-steel object, like your kitchen sink or a spoon, then rinse under cool water. Garlic is packed with sulphur molecules (that's what gives it a lovely taste and a not-so-lovely smell), which scientists say can form a chemical bond with stainless steel.
Out of vanilla? Head to your liquor cabinet—Kahlúa makes the perfect replacement.
Save your parmesan rinds! Store them in the freezer (they'll keep for months), then drop them into simmering soups or sauces for an amazing flavour boost.
The next time you're making dough, instead of using a pastry blender or the two-knife method to cut in cold butter, try grating it over the flour mixture, then tossing to coat. The butter will be more evenly distributed in the flour mixture, resulting in a light, flaky crust.
Tools of the trade
Three must-have items for a well-stocked kitchen.
1. Y-peeler: The wide grip makes peeling easy, plus the blade creates perfect Parmesan shavings and vegetable ribbons.
2. Large canning jar: This kitchen MacGyver doubles as a cocktail shaker and storage for dry goods. It's also a great place to keep fresh herbs—stand your mint or basil leaves in about two inches of water and change the water daily.
3. Kitchen scissors: This gadget is a huge time-saver when it comes to chopping herbs, segmenting a whole chicken or trimming veggies.
Save yourself from parched, dry skin during the snowy season by amping up your hand cream game.
Deep in the throes of winter, jostling back and forth between dry, low-humidity air—both indoors and outdoors—can leave your skin robbed of moisture. Our hands are the first ones to take a hit as the cool air and upping our hand-washing strips skin of its natural protective oils. In order to defeat rough and cracked palms, we’re calling in uber-hydrating hand creams. There's something for all of your specific skin-care concerns.
Steal from the boys
Designed for those who spend a lot of time outdoors in rugged temperatures (hello, pretty much every Canadian winter activity ever), this rich formula makes dry, calloused hands ancient history. Though it’s marketed to men, we think the whole family will benefit from a dose of this hand cream.
Although it might not seem like it, the sun’s rays penetrate through grey skies year-round, making sun protection an absolute necessity in the winter. Your hands are often the first part of your body to show signs of aging, so put on some hand cream with SPF before leaving the house to avoid dark spots or wrinkles.
Supergoop! Forever young hand cream with broad spectrum SPF 40, $16.50, nordstrom.com.
Worried about what you’re putting on your skin? The Honest Company’s hand cream thoughtfully uses pure ingredients like organic sunflower oil and chamomile to soothe and repair skin, making sure to exclude petroleum, mineral oil, parabens, fragrances, dyes and most common allergens.
The Honest Company Organic healing balm, $15, well.ca.
Give your over-worked mitts some true TLC with this all-encompassing hand treatment. It exfoliates and moisturizes in tandem, which gets rid of ageing skin cells and provides a clean canvas for macadamia nut oil and shea butter to truly work their magic.
Nothing is worse than attempting to use your smartphone with greasy hands after a fresh application of hand cream. #FirstWorldProblems. Enter this pick from The Body Shop that doesn’t make you choose between indulgent fair-trade Ghanan Shea butter and instant absorption.
Eczema affects 1 in 5 adults, but the market is lacking in skin-saving ointments that won’t aggravate itchy and inflamed skin. Good news: packed with 2% colloidal oatmeal (twice the level of other eczema products) this pick is dermatologist recommended to relieve flare-ups and severely parched eczema-prone skin.
Keep your manicure for up to a week longer by keeping this portable cuticle cream in your bag for quick touch-ups—or an application right before bed. The light citrusy scent of geranium, mandarin, lemongrass and ginger essential oils not only smells incredible but also keeps your cuticles primed and nourished.
If it’s good enough to be used by Norwegian fisherman, it’s good enough for us. This fail-safe classic can be picked up anywhere and provides tons of moisture—without irritating synthetic fragrances for those who are sensitive.
Neutrogena Norwegian formula hand cream, $8, well.ca.
The everyday standby
Say hello to velvety soft hands 24-hours a day. Coming in an array of colours and fragrances, EOS provides a fantastic every-day option that moisturizes dry hands with shea butter, aloe, oats and antioxidants. The cute packaging is just a bonus.
The kitchen probably has the most traffic in your home, which means it can also be the messiest. Keep your counters and cabinets clutter-free with these clever storage ideas.
1. Looking good
Display your pretty serving pieces on open shelves and use decorative baskets to house the less attractive and infrequently used kitchen necessities (think small appliances and tools).
2. Mix it up
Varied storage keeps items of different sizes in their place: deep drawers for medium-to-large appliances, stacked shelving for wine bottles and shallow drawers for spices.
3. Within reach
Keep the items you need most, such as cereal and snacks, between waist and eye level, and move the rest of the goods up high or down low.
4. All access
A pull-out pantry allows you to see inventory at a glance and helps keep supplies organized so that nothing gets pushed to the back and out of view.
5. Now you see it
Cabinets that are tucked behind a sliding door will provide a functional space-saving solution to a typical pantry. This storage system can be built along an unused wall in a kitchen. Use it to conceal mismatched boxes, jars and canned goods.
The biggest advantage in a kitchen is accessibility, yet the most common blind spots I see are cabinet shelves that are too high and wasted space between shelves. Whether you've just moved in or you've settled into a kitchen, it's worth the time to adjust shelving to fit the contents and to lower shelves so you can reach what you need. After adjusting the height, you can often add an extra shelf to accommodate wide narrow items, like trays.
Buying art is easier than ever thanks to online shops that offer everything from contemporary abstracts to landscapes—often in a variety of sizes. With prices that won't blow the budget, you can curate an art collection from the comfort of your couch.
1. He and I wall art
The image wraps around the sides so you can enjoy its beauty from every angle.
Artwork has the power to transform the look of any room in your home, but it can be hard to find a perfect piece that fits your space and your budget. Our favourite online destinations for affordable art will help you decorate your walls without emptying your wallet.